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|08/21/18||ALWAYS WEARING A BIG SMILE AND THE WHITE HAT|
|08/13/18||EVEN BAD NEWS COULD NOT UNDO THIS GOOD NEWS|
Stenhouse no one hit wonder
In the music industry the "one hit wonders" are the groups or singers who have that one song that rockets up the charts and when they can't come up with a second hit their whole career centers around the same words, the same notes until even they don't want to hear it anymore.
Well, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series also has its version of the "one hit wonders" with 61 drivers over the years making a single, solitary trip to victory lane. Six of those gentlemen struck the right chord at Talladega Superspeedway and were never heard from again. Now the question comes after Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. grabbed the checkered flag in the Geico 500, will he join ranks of Talladega's one and done Lenny Pond, Richard Brickhouse, Dick Brooks, Ron Bouchard, Bobby Hillin and Phil Parsons? Or will he, like some other drivers who's first win came on NASCAR's biggest and most unpredictable track, use it as a springboard to a lot more success like the late Davey Allison or Brad Keselowski?
I'm figuring Stenhouse will have a few more make out sessions in victory lane with Danica Patrick and could win again before the season ends. It surely won't take him another 158 starts before he's waving around a checkered flag again. I've got three reasons why.
First, Roush Fenway Racing has finally turned the ship back in the right direction with their aero and chassis packages. It was a tortuous journey to this point but both Stenhouse and Trevor Bayne are showing a lot of early season speed. Second, the "Ford Factor". It certainly appears the guys driving the Blue Oval, thanks to engine builder Doug Yates, have the horsepower advantage up and down the straightaways. Plus, with the addition of Stewart-Haas Racing, it seems everyone in the Ford camp has raised their game.
Third, and finally, Stenhouse has the ability to get the job done. He's been a hidden gem since winning back-to-back Xfinity Series Championships, concealed by Roush's struggle to regain his team's past glory. People forget when Stenhouse won the Xfinity title in 2012 five of his six victories came on superspeedways and that was a time when half the field was made up of Cup drivers. Not to mention, in cars that might not have been as good as some of his other competitors, Stenhouse had come close to getting that first Cup win with two runner-up finishes at Bristol.
So, in other words, Stenhouse is now Brickhouse.
Stenhouse's last lap pass to take the win was the 24th time that has happened at Talladega.
Stenhouse was the 11th first time winner at Talladega Superspeedway.
Stenhouse was the 8th different driver Jack Roush has helped guide to their first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory.